No Ruth, Monica Is Still A Victim, Bill Is Still A Predator, And Why Do “Feminist” Pundits Still Make Excuses For The Clintons?

biil-and-monicaThe Washington Post’s brigade of shamelessly ideological or just plain incompetent columnists has been out in force of late, placing me in a dilemma: if I write full posts calling all of them on their deceitful and irresponsible essays, I make Ethics Alarms look like Newsbusters, and if I don’t, only the angry, equally ideological columnists on “conservative media sites” will, and what they say doesn’t matter, because they’re all mean, lying “wingnuts,” don’t you know. So I’m going to let it pass that Kathleen Parker wrote yet another of her wishy-washy, hand-wringing protests against the fact that ethical decision-making requires policy makers to make tough choices, her craven proclamation that while it is true that some criminals deserve to die, she isn’t willing to accept her part in society’s obligation to see that they get what they deserve. I will note that either she or the Post scrubbed the online version of a sentence in the print version that actually said that explicitly, but never mind. Parker is still clear in her high-minded cowardice.

And I will restrain myself from awarding the Baghdad Bob Award to Eugene Robinson, who increasingly makes me wonder how much of a role affirmative action played in his Pulitzer Prize. He submitted a certifiably batty column proclaiming that the Obama administration has been a wonder to behold, that the economy is “fixed”, that the latest jobs and economic numbers were glorious, that Obamacare is an unequivocal success, and that the Democrats should declare that all is well, because it is. Meanwhile, just about every fact-based story in his own, relentlessly liberal newspaper rebutted his words. Robinson’s an opinion columnist: a point of view is necessary. Misleading readers ( “Critics have stopped talking about a hypothetical “death spiral” in which the health insurance reforms collapse of their own weight, since it is now clear that nothing of the sort will happen,” he wrote. I was able to find several such predictions from credible analysts written within the last two weeks, and I didn’t spend much time looking. Here’s one of them…) and partisan cheerleading, however, is unethical and unprofessional. The Pulitzer just isn’t what it used to be, I guess. Sort of like the Nobel Peace Prize.

I am going to take on Dana Milbank’s description of the Benghazi scandal as a “nothingberger”Shouldn’t referring to a coordinated, news-media-assisted cover-up of  intentional public deception by a President in the midst of a Presidential campaign as “nothing” (never mind that the incident at the heart of the deception involved the deaths of four Americans, including an ambassador) disqualify a columnist from regular publication by a respectable news source?—-but not today.

No, today the winner is Ruth Marcus, a member of the Post’s editorial staff whose column this week spun the new Monica Lewinsky Vanity Fair piece as a boon to Hillary Clinton:

“The Lewinsky affair never really came up in 2008; the subject was too raw and too fraught, and Clinton did not make it to the ugliness of a general election campaign. It’s clear, though, that the subject will not be taboo in 2016. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has already raised the question of whether Democrats in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular, should consort with a “sexual predator” like Bill Clinton. Lewinsky’s account makes clear that her affair with the president was between two consenting adults. “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship,” she writes. “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.” So her piece defuses Paul’s line of attack. And it does so before any Clinton presidential announcement.”

Ugh.

Welcome to the Democratic War on Women, with hypocritical female Democrats like Marcus leading the charge. This bogus and intellectually dishonest “consenting adults” rationalization is a Golden Oldies from 1998, along with “Everybody lies about sex,” “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin” and “Yeah, well, Warren G. Harding cheated on his wife in the White House too!” Marcus styles herself a feminist, a group that I largely lost respect for in 1998 when I watched them junk their own assertions about what considered “consent” to workplace sex when the coupling involves vast inequality of power, far less than was at play in Monicagate, because, well, they liked this workplace predator and didn’t like his opposition, so suddenly, Monica became the predator. Like those 1998 feminist turncoats (among them Gloria Steinem and Maureen Dowd) Marcus is eager to accept the victim’s self-serving description of herself as “consenting” when all workplace ethics, sexual harassment law and common sense tells us that true consent in such situations is impossible.

Legally, as far as the criminal law is concerned, sure, the sex was consensual. Nobody has ever claimed that Lewinski was raped, or that Clinton told her to get down on her knees or else. But he was President of the United States of America, and she the lowest subordinate imaginable, even before her knees hit the floor. He had complete power over her, and by using his office and power, had control over her conduct.  This is why such relationships are always, always, exploitive and wrong, and virtually always justify firing an executive for cause in organizations large and small.

Moreover, Clinton was an expert practitioner of this exact form of power abuse, as many other women have testified. Lewinsky’s face-saving characterization now “defuses Paul’s line of attack”? So Bill Clinton wasn’t (isn’t?) a sexual predator? Of course he’s a predator. Nothing has been more obvious. What is amazing is that though he preys on vulnerable women, so many “feminists” like Marcus—and Hillary, of course—refuse to hold him accountable for it. It’s hypocrisy, but it’s a little bit insane too. I’ll never forget listening to an otherwise intelligent, accomplished, rational female lawyer, in the middle of the impeachment battle, respond to my argument regarding Clinton’s ethics by simply gushing, like one of the high school girls in “Bye Bye Birdie,” “I just think he’s wonderful!I just stared at her. Don’t get me wrong: I’m envious of men who can enchant women like that. But don’t tell me it’s rational.

You know who else swears that he consented to an unequal sexual relationship? Vili Fualaau, the 12-year-old boy raped by his teacher (now wife) Mary Kay LeTourneau. Ask Dakota Fanning, now 20, if she consented to having a virtually naked adult make actor simulate rape on top of her when she was 12, in the filming of “Hounddog.” She’ll say she consented, just as her mother claimed her juvenile daughter consented at the time. Victims of power abuse will often claim they were full participants in their own abuse; that’s what makes them such convenient victims.

Public commentators like Ruth Marcus, meanwhile, make the deplorable hobby of predators like Bill Clinton and the complicity of their enablers, like Hillary Clinton, so much easier and risk-free.

________________________________

Source: Washington Post

 

 

33 Comments

Filed under Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Romance and Relationships, Workplace

33 responses to “No Ruth, Monica Is Still A Victim, Bill Is Still A Predator, And Why Do “Feminist” Pundits Still Make Excuses For The Clintons?

  1. I still see this excuse over and over again in just about every instance where young people or working girls were sexually exploited. These supposedly “caring” people will blatantly distort or ignore these moral criminalities when they conflict with their own political or financial interests… which have always been paramount. In doing so, they likewise bring pressure to bear on the victims that speak out in order to get them to “cool it”. And they know that the younger the victim is, the less likely they are to speak out and the more liable they are to come to accept this as a necessary part of life. Money and power are the prime motivators; in political groups and (as you rightfully mentioned) in Hollywood. Sometimes both in conjunction.

    I’ll never forget the “press conference” at Sundance 2007 over the outrage after the first public screening of “Hounddog”… and how little Dakota Fanning sat there- all dolled up- as a living mannequin while the publicists, lawyers and supposedly caring political groups (like RAINN) attempted to justify her criminal exploitation. The story of that incident alone is an education in about every means of deception, intimidation and depraved motivation that’s inherent in the now-institutionalized exploitation of young women and children.

  2. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Feminists’ support of Bill Clinton was always about abortion. He was on the right side of that issue, so feminists were on his side. Now it’s about abortion AND putting the first woman in the President’s chair, so again, they’re down with it. I was dumb enough to read the comments section on one article about this issue on the Huffington Post, and one of the commenters said something to the effect of the real unethical act in the entire scandal that led to Clinton’s impeachment was that the Republican party delved into the President’s personal behavior, which was nobody’s business, and that therefore all the damage done as a result of that scandal was on them. Let me see if I have this right: the elected holder of the highest office in the land uses that office to gain sexual favors from a subordinate, an act that would get anyone else fired, compromises his marriage, leaves him wide open to blackmail or embarrassment, compromises needed access (even Dick Morris could only get in to see him with an appointment, Monica could come and go as she pleased), shows he has screwed-up priorities (Americans were going into battle in the Balkans while he was getting a blow job in the Oval Office) and just plain looks bad, and it’s those who blow the whistle on this behavior who are to blame for the consequences of it? He then lies about it under oath, and the other side is still to blame?

    According to the mentality behind that comment the ethical thing the Republicans should have done was to have just crossed the street, looked the other way, and let Clinton continue his sleazy behavior with a knowing nod, because choose your reason:

    1. At least three other presidents fooled around while in office, so it’s no big deal.

    It was wrong then and it’s wrong now, and at least they had the discretion not to bring it out in the open and then lie about it under oath.

    2. In Europe this kind of thing is common, so stop worrying about it.

    This isn’t Europe, and the fact that the prime minister could be spilling state secrets as pillow talk to a mistress is nothing to be proud of.

    3. This is all an attempt by the other side to smear a progressive president, so see it for what it is, politics.

    Of course there’s an element of politics, but it’s still wrong.

    4. Monica needs to throw some water on her face and tell herself he was never hers to begin with.

    Maybe so, but this isn’t some ordinary person jilting his “piece of ass on the side,” this is the President of the United States abusing his office.

    5. It’s vital that the president be able to do his job undistracted.

    I find this a joke. If he wanted to do his job undistracted he wouldn’t have been having oral sex with an intern when he was supposed to be working.

    Now add to this #6. The Republicans can’t stand the idea of a woman being successful and this is all an attempt to keep Hilary from her marital right of being the first female president.

    I also find #5 particularly galling because for the 8 years GWB was president a week didn’t pass that the press wasn’t trying to throw some kind of mud at him, be it giving huge amounts of coverage to a demonstration in Europe against the coming wars or beating the Valerie Plame dead horse long after it had ceased to mean anything or shining the limelight on John Murtha like some kind of peace saint while ignoring the fact that he was under investigation for corruption. The media and the Democratic party and their blog/NGO allies can engage in all the ethical and mental gymnastics they want, but in the end they are all about protecting their favored people and advancing their pet causes while attacking the people they are opposed to and blunting the causes they don’t agree with. The welfare of this nation takes a distant fifth to those 4 things.

    • And with all this, even you left out the impeachable offenses, lying under oath in a civil proceeding, obstruction of justice in the cover-up, and lying to a grand jury. Scooter Libby was jailed for far less; Richard Nixon never lied under oath.

      Clinton and the Democrats corrupted the country and confused its already tenuous understanding of ethics, leadership, sexual harassment, and government ethics to save his arrogant, irresponsible neck. But on the bright side, I wouldn’t have started Ethics Scoreboard and this blog without Bill and his defenders.

      • As to what Steve O. said; the liberal definition of “empowering women” seems to have devolved into a matter of “sleep your way to the top”. Wasn’t that exactly what the feminists used to decry in their early days? It wasn’t long after, though, that they embraced “free love” and set the stage for Sandra Fluke! Political power, though, was always their chief motivator. Everything else was just a “foot in the door” to build up a following.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          It’s devolved to sleep with whoever you want until you don’t want to, then once you don’t want to, level an accusation to destroy them. You’re tired of the bf and want to keep the apartment? He can’t come back in if he’s under arrest for rape. You were tuned down for a promotion or your raise was not what you wanted? A complaint of sexual harassment can work wonders. Getting divorced and you want the advantage? A child can be easily gaslighted into believing anything. Anyone criticizes this? Accuse him of being a soldier in the War on Women. It’s an always-win situation.

          • That’s it, Steve! In a nutshell. Isn’t it a shame we weren’t born female and feminist?

          • Is the above really true? if so, I fail to see how the Taliban’s policies on sex equality are worse.

            • Care to comment further on that, Michael?

              • The Taliban’s policy on women can not possibly be much worse than the purpoted policies Steve-O-in -NJ mentioned in his comment.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  Apples and oranges. The Taliban dealt out beatings, dismemberments, and beheadings to women simply for being women and appearing in public without a male relative and a burqa. We’re not there … yet, but many policies that favor women, i.e. must-arrest policies for allegations of domestic violence, whatever the evidence shows, draconian no-contact orders where a simple phone call regarding allowed parenting time with a shared child is cause for criminal charges, the ease with which a divorcing woman can help herself to her ex-husband’s assets, are indicative of a lopsiding of things. But, then again, I must be helping prosecute the war on women for saying this.

                  • I missed Michael’s comment, Steve. Frankly, I can’t see the connection. If Afghan women even dreamed of doing what Sweet Monica did, they’d wake up the next morning without a head! Secular American society has gone to the opposite extreme. We actually laud women who flaunt or sell themselves to get ahead and, with breathtaking audacity, label it as “empowering women”. I’m not even sure which side is worse overall.

  3. wyogranny

    Welcome to the Democratic War on Women, with hypocritical female Democrats like Marcus leading the charge.
    *****************************
    On first reading I thought this said hypothetical female Democrats.

    At first I thought it read better that way, then I realized women Democrats are the first to throw another woman under the bus in order to gain their own ends.

  4. Wayne

    Having a Presidential mistress doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. Especially considering the Presidents with dowdy wives like Eisenhower and FDR. However, there’s a big difference about a discrete affair and leading on a very young intern who was 22 and very naive at the time.

  5. Beth

    “You know who else swears that he consented to an unequal sexual relationship? Vili Fualaau, the 12-year-old boy raped by his teacher (now wife) Mary Kay LeTourneau. Ask Dakota Fanning, now 20, if she consented to having a virtually naked adult make actor simulate rape on top of her when she was 12, in the filming of “Hounddog.” She’ll say she consented, just as her mother claimed her juvenile daughter consented at the time. Victims of power abuse will often claim they were full participants in their own abuse; that’s what makes them such convenient victims.”

    These aren’t valid analogies. Monica was legally of age when she had sex with Clinton, obviously a 12-year old is not an adult. I think Bill is scum and I won’t defend him — but there is a difference generally between harassment and consensual sex.

    If a single employee (male or female) honestly falls in love with his/her single employer and wants to have a relationship, I have a hard time saying that is per se wrong. The employer may (and probably should) avoid that relationship for several legal reasons, but that doesn’t mean it is unethical. Similarly, it isn’t wrong for an employer to ask out an employee. (Again, this doesn’t fall into the “wise” category, but it is not wrong.) Where the line is crossed is if the employee refuses the offer and the employer retaliates.

    • It’s a better analogy than you might think, Beth. Certainly, there’s a respectable difference between 12 and 22. However, there’s more to be considered. Both were inserted in a toxic, exploitative environment (with parental consent and involvement!), both WERE ruthlessly exploited and neither was really mature. Twenty-two years may be legally adult, but not in actuality.

      Maturity has three elements, all of which must be satisfied: Intelligence, life experience and biological. Since full biological maturity doesn’t usually come about until about 23-24 years of age on an average- and when you consider that Miss Lewinsky was not noted for either of the other two factors (!)- you might even argue that Dakota Fanning was more mature at 12!

      Regardless; a dumb near adult or a smart preteen- both were hideously exploited, were humiliated before the entire world (with all the mental complications that invariably result from such a thing at a tender age) and saw those who did this get clean away without a day in court, much less in jail.

      Mr. Lewinsky’s (father) reaction to the Clinton scandal; “I hope this doesn’t hurt the president’s re-election chances”.

      Joy Fanning’s (mother) reaction to the “Hounddog” scandal; “I hope this wins Dakota the Oscar she deserves”.

      With parents like that, what girl needs enemies?

      • Beth

        I agree with you re a subjective test of maturity, but that is an impossible standard to apply. With minors, the courts don’t look to whether or not the 14-year old raised in Hollywood really has the maturity of a 21-year old. Similarly, we assume that adults once they reach 18 will have the responsibility to use tobacco wisely and alcohol at 21. Absent evidence of mental retardation, minors are often tried as adults. But, we are going to apply a tougher standard to adults re dating? Crazy.

        A notable exception for me would be the military. But a typical office?

        • I think you miss a big point, Beth. There is no such thing as a mature child. As I said, all three factors must be satisfied. By biology alone, a child remains immature and can’t achieve full mental maturity until his early twenties. (Whenever you hear some Hollywood pundit say something like “She’s mature for her age”, you know that something depraved has happened to an underage actor.) On the other hand, it’s certainly possible for someone to lead a long and even fruitful life without achieving maturity. The modern examples of that are boundless!

    • Beth, I made that clear. The comparison is that victims, even greater ones, will claim they “consented.” The comparison is abuse of grossly unequal power, and a supervisor, like a teacher, is “in loco parentis.” It is organizational incest. The victim doesn’t have to be screaming “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” for the lack of consent to be clear. They are saying Yes because it is in their interest not to say no to someone empowered to crush them like a bug.

      I was, in fact, waiting and hoping for this comment, so thanks.

      In this respect, which is the respect in which it was offered, the analogy is correct.

      • Beth

        I just can’t get behind your reasoning. Of course adults in the workplace have the ability to consent. And how far do you take this anyway? In the law firm context, can a summer associate date a first year attorney? Can a secretary date a partner — if she doesn’t work for that particular partner?

        Times have changed Jack — and for the better. Assuming that a company permits interoffice dating AND both parties have weighed the pros/cons, people can date in an office setting. I can’t even count the number of marriages that I know which started as a partner/associate relationship. And I’m sure this happens in other settings as well.

        • “In the law firm context, can a summer associate date a first year attorney? Can a secretary date a partner — if she doesn’t work for that particular partner?”

          No, and no. “Times have changed” is the lamest of lame rationalizations–“You’re on the wrong side of history.” Time have changed—in the days of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” a secretary had to let the boss fondle her to keep her job. Do you favor the casting couch too?

          Organizational incest, unprofessional, dangerous. A workplace is not a dating bar. Period. Vertical romances are unethical. Always.

          • Beth

            It’s not a rationalization. I completely disagree with you on this.

            • If it’s not just a rationalization, then you have to make a real argument. “Times have changed” works with good and bad changes. It’s especially used to justify kids with marriage. It’s not an argument.

              I advise corporations on this—any company that does not have a policy against vertical dating is asking for law suits, harassment and worse.

              • Beth

                If it does not involve a direct report, there is no problem with vertical dating.

                • No. Any vertical relationship validates vertical relationships and gives the perception of disproportionate power and influence to the employee who is “under.” Can’t be allowed. And if the employee is transferred under the romantic partner, because the affair is secret? It’s an appearance of impropriety at best, real impropriety at worst. The fact that companies are lazy and sloppy about this changes nothing. The Pres/CEO is right out—everyone is vertical to him/her. You think it’s appropriate for the CEO to be dating the CFO’s assistant? Outrageous, Beth. Flat out unethical.

                  • Beth

                    Everyone reports to a CEO eventually. But what if an employee in Marketing wants to date a manager in Product Development? I don’t see a problem ethically. If a company wants to have a “no dating” policy, that’s fine too — but sometimes those policies are overbroad in application.

                    • If Product Development never has a joint project or relationship with Marketing—but, of course, it does, will, or might—then the relationship is less troubling. It still corrupts the culture.

  6. “Critics have stopped talking about a hypothetical “death spiral” in which the health insurance reforms collapse of their own weight, since it is now clear that nothing of the sort will happen,” [Eugene Robinson] wrote. I was able to find several such predictions from credible analysts written within the last two weeks, and I didn’t spend much time looking…

    If confronted with that, he will just say, No True Scotsman fashion, that he meant reputable, credible critics.

  7. crella

    It’s interesting how liberals will turn a blind eye to conduct of other liberals, conduct they would draw and quarter a Republican for. How would things have turned out if GW had the affair? Monica would have become a feminist icon in the fight against abuse of power in sexual relationships, she would have become accepted and lauded for speaking out. It says a lot about Democrats that supposedly heinous conduct is Ok if the perpetrator is someone they like. Their worship of the Kennedy family is another case in point. Were Mitt Romney to drive a car off a bridge and kill a young staffer, how long would his political career last? As a child when the Chappaquiddick incident occurred I was mystified as to why Kennedy wasn’t jailed.

  8. Shouldn’t referring to a coordinated, news-media-assisted cover-up of intentional public deception by a President in the midst of a Presidential campaign as “nothing” (never mind that the incident at the heart of the deception involved the deaths of four Americans, including an ambassador) disqualify a columnist from regular publication by a respectable news source?—-but not today.

    The deception was used as an occasion to attack freedom of speech.

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